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Police: 82-Year-Old Mahwah, N.J. Man Shoots Dead 79-Year-Old Wife In Murder-Suicide

Neighbors Say There Was Nothing Not To Like About Harry and Barbara Ellis
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MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A shooting at a home in in Mahwah that left an elderly couple dead has stunned people in the exclusive gated community.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli confirmed that the incident was a murder-suicide, WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reported.

WCBS 880′s Levon Putney On The Story


Police surrounded the house on Polo Lane at around 8:30 a.m. Friday after getting a call about a woman shot in the head. The caller said that her father, 82-year-old Harry Ellis, had killed her mother, 79-year-old Barbara Ellis, and was going to kill himself, police said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports


Cops found Barbara Ellis inside the house with a gunshot wound to the head.

As she was rushed to the hospital, the Bergen County SWAT team swarmed the neighborhood looking for her husband. They tried to make contact with him but were unsuccessful, police said.

A short while later, police found Harry Ellis lying face down in the back yard with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police also found a revolver with two spent shell casings at the scene.

“I thought there was a ‘boom boom boom’ maybe multiple. My wife, she thought she only heard one,” neighbor Steve Wagner told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez, referring to gun shots.

Both Harry and Barbara Ellis were pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said Harry Ellis’ health was deteriorating.  He suffered from Parkinson’s disease, but neighbors said the couple seemed very happy together and the murder-suicide just doesn’t add up, CBS 2′s Sanchez reported.

Neighbors also told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that the two seemed to be a loving couple and had grown children in their 40s.

“I’m shook up. Very, very shook up,” one neighbor said. “They were very nice people.”

“They were the nicest people you could ask. I just can’t believe it,” neighbor Eric Boe added.

Barbara Ellis was retired after working 33 years as a school nurse in the Fort Lee School District. Harry Ellis, also retired, was an avid Ham radio operator, CBS 2′s Sanchez reported.

Neighbors said the couple was very active in the community and seemed to have it all — until Friday.

Police said there was no sign of a struggle in the home.

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